Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Iconic Hollywood Legend Kirk Douglas Dead at 103, Oscar Winner Was Father of Oscar Winner Michael Douglas


Alas, the end had to come eventually. The amazing Kirk Douglas has died at age 103. He hadn’t really been seen since the Golden Globes a year ago.

What an incredible life and career. He was a role model for Hollywood. The father of Oscar winner Michael Douglas, Kirk’s history in Hollywood is legendary. I’m sure the Oscars will acknowledge him in a major way on Sunday. It will be a last minute coup for them to get it right. (Not easy with four days to go.)

Kirk had 3 Oscar nominations for Best Actor in the 1950s. He was finally given a Lifetime Achievement Award in 1996. He won 2 Golden Globes in the 50s, and received their Cecil B. DeMille Prize as well. He also had 3 Emmy nominations.

He starred most famously in “Spartacus,” and won an award from the Writers Guild in 1991 for making sure that screenwriter Dalton Trumbo got on screen credit for the 1960 movie. Trumbo had been blacklisted.

Douglas was also a bestselling author. His autobiography, “The Rag Man’s Son,” told the story of his life as the son of a poor Jewish immigrant who rose to fame and success. It’s still a great read.

Douglas’s other famous roles included “Lust for Life,” “Young Man with a Horn,” “Detective Story,” “Town Without Pity,” and so on. His resume is long and full of highlights.

One of his mourners today was R&B legend Sam Moore of Sam & Dave. When the great duo finally appeared on “SNL” in the 1980s, Kirk was the show’s host! “We spent all week together, and loved him!” Sam told me just now. As did everyone.

Kirk leaves his second wife, Anne, whom he married in 1954. They had two children, Peter and Eric (deceased). With Diana Douglas, he had Michael and Joel.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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